Ulrich Becker was born in 1954 as the son of an illustrator and a church musician in Krefeld. There he received his first oboe lessons at the tender age of 13, after having already studied violin and piano.
Later he became a pupil of Johann Baptist Schlee in Essen, who prepared the way for him to move on to his subsequent teacher, Lothar Koch in Berlin.
In 1974 he began his studies in Berlin, first at the Academy of Arts, then one semester later at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Academy.
He received a scholarship from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation and, as early as his student days, had an opportunity to play in Berlin Philharmonic concerts the sound and character of this orchestra have remained role models for him to this day. In 1977 he was engaged as solo oboist with the Munich Philharmonic.